HSBC Calgary Marathon - First Full - RunMarathon

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Calgary, Alberta
2C / 36F
Total Time = 3h 28m 7s
Overall Rank = 92/854
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 19/100
Pre-race routine:

16K strides at Westside track on Thurs was probably not a great idea (it's in the BT intermediate marathon plan though) so I've been resting for Fri and Sat.

Sorted out shoes and clothing and debated one more time about living off the course or doing infinit since I had full support that could switch me bottles if needed.

Decided on the Zoot Ultra tri shorts since the side pockets can hold 3-4 gels unlike the new shorts which only have a pocket in the back. No fuel belt but decided to wear my number belt instead of pinning the number.

Shoes were the zoot energy light trainers - I'm not ready to use zoot ultra TT racing flats for this yet. Maybe for the next half?

Had a first aid course all day, then Swiss chalet white chicken with rice for dinner. Packed up after and went to bed at about 12 for a 5am wakeup. I slept ok, but had a decent sleep on Friday night. Ate like a horse Friday but not too bad on Sat. Few bowls of cereal at around 8pm and then a pop tart and some toast in the morning at 5:15. Half bottle of infinit and some water.

Event warmup:

Nothing. The porta pots were soo busy and I'm horrible for having to pee several times. Even on 10ks I've stopped before. I got in once, but usually I need to run 1k or so and go again. No chance here, and sure enough I paid for it after the gun went.

  • 3h 28m 7s
  • 42.2 kms
  • 04m 56s  min/km

Started with the right group (3:30) and that put me pretty close to the front so I didn't have too much issue with congestion. Kept the pace bang on 4:50 for the first 3-4 K and that's when the potty urge came on hard. By 5K I knew I was screwed so figured better go early when there wouldn't be others with the same idea. Wrong. Stop ended up taking almost 3 mins, and watching the 100s go by was annoying. But it was worth it and I felt fine for the rest of the race. 2 mins behind schedule at the 10k point but I knew trying to make up time so early would be stupid. Do it later - IF possible.

Made it to the bottom of the hill and did my lean in and machined up holding a nice 5:25 or so. Heart rate didn't go over 150 so perfect.

Saw my crew at the top (since we loop past 3 times it's a great spot) and then looped the University. Close to halfway now, started major muscle pain in the left quad/lower groin. Sort of like a stitch, but it can be kicked out sometimes. Some sharp foot pain, some knee pain but they went away.

Halfway split was 1:46 - a touch slower but set me up for a good neg split especially since going back I'd get the downhill. Best HM was 1:36, so not too worried (double the HM and add 30 mins was my outside time window).

So pace went up to 4:50 or faster every time I looked at my watch if it said 5:xx I'd say to myself "Faster slacker".

One awesome sign I saw said "That's not sweat. It's your fat crying." I repeated that a lot.

Around the mall and into Varsity - I never bothered to drive/run/bike the route as I assumed it was flat. It's not. Lots of rollers and the road slopes to the side quite a lot so you either cut the corners correctly and run on an angle or run in the center of the lane and don't slope. I mixed depending on foot soreness.

At 31 I was waiting for "the Wall" since I haven't done the volume fast guys on slowtwitch etc say is recommened to avoid it. But really I don't think I hit it. I was well fed and took water and gu brew alternating every station and ate my gel every 40 mins or so (I had 4 for the whole race). One strong period of stomach gas but it passed within a min or so.

At 32 I said screw it, it's a 10k race from now on and started holding a 4:45 - I passed a LOT of people in this last stage.

Then around 37 I passed the 3:30 pace bunny and a lot of death-marchers, and basically ran at 4:30 the rest of the way. Plenty of kick for a 3:40m/k final 500m sprint which is why I think I could have squeezed out another 5 mins with better pacing (next time!!)

What would you do differently?:

With this baseline and a better idea of the true perceived effort, I will go harder. Problem will be hotter weather as that seems to hurt me more, so I'm sure my next race will also be unknown for that reason.

Post race
Warm down:

Met up with wife, daughter and support friends from work - even one of the execs came and brought a case of beer!

No blisters (!!), went for a slurpee and hamburger and then hot shower and hottub with the little one.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The Unknown. Since this was the first time racing this distance, pacing was strictly based on Mcmillan calculator and reading other race reports. McMillan is known to be very aggressive on the marry prediction (based on my 10K it said I was within 2 mins of BQ) but my HM times put me into the 3:20s.

Event comments:

If I do another marathon I think I'll attempt to BQ on a faster course. I have no doubt I could have knocked anther 5 mins off my time, as well as a couple minutes for the course hills. So it's within reach with some hard work.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-01-31 12:00 AM
03:28:07 | 42.2 kms | 04m 56s  min/km
Age Group: 19/100
Overall: 92/854
Performance: Good
Avg HR: 148, max 171 at 3:21 min/km sprint. Held zone two, under 150 for first half (around 144) Held zone three, 150-152 for the second half.
Course: Flat for the first 15 or so, which makes for a very fast HM course. But the full M goes up a long steep hill and into a subdivision with a lot of rollers. Then back down again to finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %5%
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4